The Western NSW Primary Health Network has announced the after hours GP helpline is available in the Mudgee area.
The service – funded by the Australian Government – provides residents with access to a GP at night, on weekends and public holidays.
Times when people feel that the only option is to go to the Emergency Department or to call Triple Zero (000) which may not be necessary for the person’s health concern.
If your GP is unavailable and you have a health concern the after hours GP helpline (1800 022 222) provides free, expert medical advice on what to do and where to go if face-to-face care is required.
Callers first speak to a registered nurse for assessment, then based on the symptoms at the time of the call the nurse may offer a call back from a GP within 15 minutes or an hour depending on the severity and urgency of the health issue.
At the end of the call, people are offered a care advice summary which will be sent via SMS or email so the details of the advice provided can be easily recalled.
The caller also has the option to have a summary of the call sent to their regular GP’s practice so that they are aware of the call.
You can also agree to have an event summary uploaded to your My Health Record.
The after hours GP helpline is available from:
- Monday to Friday 6pm – 7.30am;
- Saturday from midday;
- Sunday and Public Holidays all day.
However, the Western NSW Primary Health Network stress that the after hours GP helpline is designed for people who will benefit from speaking with a health professional immediately and is not a substitute for face-to-face after hours care.
The helpline is a free-to-call number on all landlines and some mobile phones.
According to Healthdirect Australia, after its first years of operation, those most in need of the service were identified as calling from rural and regional areas, while some demand also existed after hours for callers in major cities.
Healthdirect Australia was established in August 2006 as the National Health Call Centre Network, under a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement to improve access to consistent health information for the people of Australia.
The helpline was established in 2011.
Further information at healthdirect.gov.au/after-hours-gp-helpline